January 24, 2017
"Have You Seen the Owl Today?"
Happy New Year Everyone!
Some news and information that will be helpful to know as winter kicks into high gear!
SOME IMPORTANT DATES FOR JANUARY AND FEBRUARY:
January 25: Report Cards Mailed Home
January 30: District In-Service -- NO SCHOOL for students
February 16: Lantern Parade!
Feb. 25 to March 7: Winter Break -- NO SCHOOL
REPORT CARDS OUT THIS WEEK! Report Cards are being mailed out in the next few days! Please be on the lookout for them in your mailbox. Last week, I sent a letter home explaining the grading system and some other details about the report card, and I attach it here for you below in case you missed it. Please let us know if you have questions!
Report Card Message
SOME THOUGHTS ON A TOUGH MONDAY... Many of us woke up on Sunday to the horrible news that a violent act had resulted in the loss of a member of our community. As the hours passed, we also came to realize the victim was not only a dad of one of our PreK students, but also a former aide to a number of students both here at Union and at Main Street. There is a lot of info out in the social and traditional media world about Markus Austin and this terrible tragedy right now, but I am certain of this: this gentleman was a kind and talented caregiver who had a positive impact on the UES community in the brief time he was with us. Those who worked with Markus (he was an aide in my daughter's class before I arrived at UES) were in a state of shock and grief yesterday. His time with us was truly memorable and positive; he made a difference in the lives of some of our most vulnerable children.
But, we all came to school and took care of our students and each other, as always. I was so proud to be a part of this school community yesterday! Dealing with grief and loss in a meaningful, supportive way while in a large community is always very challenging, but the professionalism and kindness displayed by your teachers and staff yesterday was such a reassuring and comforting experience. Your kiddos were in excellent hands! School Counselor Suzanne Francke shared some wonderful resources for dealing with grief and children with us yesterday, and here is one that we think could be helpful for you and your family:
Facts for Families Dealing with Grief
Finally, Markus' co-workers at Washington County have put together a GoFundMe page for his family. They've already raised a lot of money, and we could all put them over the top! The link:
|Markus Austin helping little ones with their Snowball Tree, Winter of 2013|
Six of Ms. Lloyd's students volunteered to show us all how it's done. This is worth checking out -- four minutes of your time well spent!
MHS MENTORS Did you know that a large number of Montpelier High School students come over to Union every Wednesday morning to be Play Mentors with our students? Thanks to Suzanne Francke and MHS's Matt McLane for coordinating this wonderful program! The mentor who happens to be my daughter (Olivia, just to my left below) has loved the experience, and I know all of our students really look forward to it every week!
|Some of the Best and Brightest of MHS!|
WE LOVE PRE-K AT UNION ELEMENTARY! I often hear this about our new PreK program from people who've been at Union for years: "It's like they've always been here!" What a wonderful addition to the UES community these little ones and their teachers have been! Congratulations and gratitude to Morgan Nicastro, Peggy Watson, Aimee Weddleton, Robyn Fleming, Brenda Bolio, and Emily Cooke for creating a thriving learning environment for our youngest students almost literally from scratch this summer! They are an excellent team, and, my goodness, are they ever a talented group of educators who love working with little ones! Stop by for a visit the next time you're walking to the cafeteria...
|The afternoon crew|
|The morning crew|
HENNESSEY'S HOOTS! A big Hennessey Hoot to...
* 3rd Grader Evan Coates for his excellent leadership skills in helping us with our bus evacuation drill last month! Evan made all of the children feel totally safe as they practiced evacuating the bus in an orderly fashion.
* UES Mom Adrienne Gil for joining us at our January Assembly to celebrate the 16 students who raised over $100 for the UES Parents Group at our Kids Cup this fall! This was a highly successful fundraiser and a really fun event too. We can't wait for next year's Cup!
|The very proud fundraisers!|